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Mystras (Laconia)

ΜυστραςIt is built on a hill of Mt. Taygetos 6 km NW of Sparta. The Frankish ruler Wilhelm II Villehardouin founded the castle at the top of the hill (1249). The Byzantines conquered it after 1262. In the mid 14th century Mystras became the seat of the Despotate of Moreas (Peloponnese). In 1448 the last emperor of Byzantium, the Despot (ruler) Constantine XI Palaiologos, was crowned here. In 1460 Mystras was handed to the Turks. In 1464 Sigismondo Malatesta from Rimini conquered the city, but not the castle. For a short period Mystras came under the Venetian rule (1687-1715), but soon the Turks reoccupied it. In 1821 Mystras was one of the first regions of Greece to be liberated.

 

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